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Us 11, Dmitri Belzer 1, Baker 1, Paul Grant 1, Dave 1, Michaels 1, Mr. Dmitri Belzer 1, Ast San Francisco State University 1, Honda 1, Safeway 1, Skype 1, Dmitri 1, John Boswell 1, Romanian 1, San Francisco 1, Wheelchairs 1, Broil 1, Facebook 1, Etc. 1, Blogs 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    March 18, 2013
    9:30 - 9:59pm PDT  

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get there. my colleague said that if anybody can see this, take a picture and send it to us. there is a man on the twenty fourth floor looking out the window with his camera. took a picture, looked at it, send it to us, we had it on the air and a couple of minutes. because of technology, because of things changing so rapidly. it is a brand new world. vicki, thank you for the importance of that network and everything else. thank you. next, i want to introduce you to a gentleman. he is tall, dark, handsome. sorry, that was me. wrong script. [laughter] you, too, right? it's your birthday, right? ok. in all seriousness, a gentleman
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by the name of dmitri is here. i want you to meet him. his name is dmitri belzer. he has worked in the disability community for years providing technology access for more than 30 years. trained as a sign language expert and interpreter, he established a death services program ast san francisco state university, provided support services for colleges. we don't call them disabled. they happen to have a disability. he joined pacific bell, helped organize honda the advisory group for people that happen to have a disability. he gave them put to that company on how to develop features that will help them do better.
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he became the director of death and disabled services. he was executive director for berkeley in 2001. under dmitri's direction, they have expanded it, they have done so many different things. i can't even less the mall. he sends people out that happen to be disabled and of a test things. before they get out there, to make sure that they are done the right way. so they can practically help people. it is my pleasure right now. give a warm welcome cojones --
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to mr. dmitri belzer. [applause] >> thank you, dave. i just decided who will be giving this speech that my memorial service, that is a great introduction. i want to talk to them about how people with disabilities use computers. the first and want to talk about is my family. i come from a family of eastern european immigrants. they were mostly born in europe, all of my grandparents were born there. when my grandparents came here, they were older people. english was not something they were very interested in. my grandparents spoke russian,
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romanian, yiddish, and german. a sixth language? no way. they learned english, but they were never comfortable with it and they forgot it as soon as they could. my parents didn't speak english either, but they were going to live their lives in this country so they've learned it. they always spoken with a heavy accent and was something that was always a struggle for them. as they got older, they didn't want to do it anymore. my father spoke his last words in yiddish. we are born here, my native english speakers. i think you can mostly understand me. what i think technology, i see a parallel and my family
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because i think about my parents, my parents have really become my grandparents' generation. if technology is something they did not want to learn. boy, would she like to forget it. she hates technology. we have really become a skilled computer users because we have had to. it is something we have had to learn, and we speak technology with an accent. we don't really know it intuitively. i looked at my kids, they are native speakers. they use it, it is intuitive. it is an intuitive feeling that they have that most of us don't. we think about this issue a lot because when you are working with people with disabilities and people with different kinds of stresses, you have to adjust your thinking to who you're
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talking to and who you are working with. or work is shaped by to beliefs. the first is that we had no reason to talk about this ability with technology. disabilities' exist because of the -- i don't ask the client what their disability is because it is irrelevant. what do you want to deal on a computer? the print is too small, we can fix that. the mouse or the keyboard is too difficult, try this. try speech input, we will try different things to get the technology to work. the technology is what creates a disability. the other believe that we have is that it is important to step back from what we know at listen to our clients.
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has to stop putting our beliefs on them. we have to look at where people are coming from with technology. and figure out what the issues are that they are having. the big question that we often asked is, when someone is struggling, is that a disability issue or a learning curve issue? we find that the disability issues are the easy fixes. the small print, hard to use a mouse, all of that is very easy to fix. the learning curve issues are really the hard ones for most people. most seniors and don't have a tool box of strategies for dealing with technology. we were more able to figure things out. i may not know where the downloads folder is, but i know it exists.
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i might have trouble finding it, but i know it is there. for someone that doesn't speak technology as well as i do, they don't know how to look for it. if you are someone i have an analogy for you. how many people here can drive? you will be happy to know i do not. for all of you who drive, have you rented cars? when you rent a car, you get into a car you are unfamiliar with. how did you drive it? you do not know where everything is. you do not know where the high beam indicator is or where the turn signals are or any of those kind of things, but you know they are there. you have the language to drive that car because you know what to look for. you know every car has turn signals, so you are going to look for it. when my parents bought their first car that had a locking gas
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cap, it had a door over the gas cap. they went to get gas, and they could not open it. it was because the release for it was by the driver's seat, and it never occurred to them. it was just not a place they would look. they look for the key, for the lever. my father reached into the glove compartment, pulled out a screwdriver, and broke the lock to put gas in the car. an experienced computer user is going to know if they are having trouble, they will go to the control panel and look for what is there, but someone who does not know what a control panel is -- they have no language to ask for it. another issue we find with a lot of seniors in particular is a high level of frustration with technology. i talked to my mother about this all the time. my mother hates technology, and she has had to learn so much. i had a conversation with her
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the other day, and she was naming all the things she has had to learn, all the things she owns, all the things she hates. things like her dvd player, her vcr, or microwave, herself phone, her cordless phone -- there are so many things she has had to learn. in the senior center where she lives, she said the most commonly used assisted technology is a two-inch-long piece of black ls will take, used to cover the flashing light on the vcr and the dvd player -- black electrical tape. she says it is easier the learning to program the clock. for the most part, a lot of seniors to not trust technology. people have gotten the word that there are risks to using technology, and a lot of seniors want to stay away from it. as much as i want to get my mother to do online banking and paying her bills, never going to happen. she is never going to do that. at the center for accessible
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technology, we work to understand the mindset of our clients, and as a result, we have systems in place of how we work with them. one of the things we do is we asked people -- what do you want to use a computer for? i cannot tell you how many people tell us they have never been asked that. they have been told they need to use a computer, but no one has told the what they need it for. sometimes we hear that people do not have anything they want to use it for, but a lot of times, they have something in particular. we tried to focus on something that will give them early success. so they are going to be able to have some success with the computer. if someone wants to be able to e-mail their grandchildren so they can get pictures of their grandkids, they will be motivated to push past their technology fear for that. at least i keep telling my mother that.
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but we also have to recognize that one of the things that happens is people come in who have been using technology, and they have their own systems for use in it, and we let them. we do not try to change how people are using it. an example of that is my grandmother. she was a wonderful baker. i miss her, but i miss her baked goods more. she never had used a still in the old country that had thermostat. she would turn the stove on all the way to broil, and it would heat up like a furnace, and then she would turn it off, and then put her stuff in and cook it. if it got too cold, she would turn it on again. it drove my parents crazy, but she made wonderful food. she was never going to learn this technology, but she had adapted to it. we recognize that people do that. if people have something that works, you leave it alone. another issue that people have on computers is -- and it is a
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real frustration for a lot of seniors -- that things do not show up in the same place. we try to set up people's computers so that it is recognizable. if you are using a macintosh, and it has the dock that has all the controls on it, you set it up so that it is always visible. you put the icons in place so they will always show up, so they are always recognizable. i gave my mother recently and ipad, and it is a brilliant piece of technology for seniors because it only has one button on the front of it. if you do not know what to do, you press that and go back to the home screen and start over. she really loves that. another important piece is ergonomics. people forget this a lot, but ergonomics is hugely important. a real reason why people stop using computers is because they say they heard. if you did not set up some computer system so they can use it ergonomically, i will -- it will heighten the chances for
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their failure. we tell people it is okay to ask questions peer the problem with that is one to tell someone it is ok to ask questions, you then have to make it okay to ask questions. when my mother asked me for the 312th time, "how do i attach a picture to an e-mail?" i have to stop myself from going, like -- and it is difficult sometimes. they'll say the same things over again, but it is an important part of technological success. in preparing for this speech, i thought about how a lot of people here are pretty experienced technology users, but i am recognizing that most of us are, if you will pardon my saying this, a little on the older side. how can i get you all to understand what it is like to use a computer for our parents and for seniors who have never done it? i have a great way. go home and find a 14-year-old boy and ask him to play a video
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game. i have done this with both of my sons when they were younger, and it is an amazing experience. my kids will be playing a game, which i am total in not understanding at all, and my kids say, "jump," and i go, " how?" everything that is intuitive to them is completely foreign to me. the good news is i am at no risk of becoming addicted to video games. the last point i would like to make is that the environment is really changing rapidly. 10 years ago, if we had sat down and talk about seniors and technology, a lot of people would have wondered why seniors would want to use computers, but that has shifted. over the next few years, as all of us move toward being seniors, we will not be wanting technology. we will be demanding it. the field is going to change, and more and more people are going to be here. so the ability to make
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technology accessible is there. those of us charged with doing this have a really important role. we have to be able to provide the tools for the technology in ways that the people can hear. i am happy to be your speaking with you because i think this is an incredibly important topic. this afternoon, there is a workshop on addressing multiple barriers for accessing technology, and it will be a brainstorming session where someone from my office and a couple of other people will be leading a discussion of what issues people run into and how you deal with them. i think it is a really important topic and i think it is probably one of the most important things people could be talking about now. for all of us, technology is here and going to be here, and we all need it. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you. thank you. thank you. i am really pleased to be up here -- well, not really, but you're so pleased to be able to tell you about two things before lunch -- i am pleased to be able to tell you about two things before lunch. as you know, this is the middle of a process to train and teach more people how to use computers. we wanted to showcase a little bit of what folks are learning out there. first, we will show a video, and then wind up -- linda will explain about lunch. i know a few people have slipped over there, but i ask everyone to be quiet for a few minutes. there is plenty to go around. the video we're going to show right now -- i got a feeling this morning at 4:00 a.m. that tells you how dedicated people were to be able to produce it and have it here today. i wanted to thank paul grant, who has worked with the project with the family services agency
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senior community services employment program. you will see his good work here also john boswell, who came in at the last minute and help us pull this together. he did it in exchange for tyne bank hours with the bay area community exchange time bank. if you want to know about that, you can learn about that across the hall after lunch. finally, from the broadband technology opportunity program, which provides opportunities for seniors and people with disabilities to teach each other, to learn from each other, and create more connections across all of our communities. please q the video, and after that, we will dismiss for lunch after a little explanation. >> we want people to come into the center and learn how to use all the different social media so they are not left behind. we do not want the whole community to be left behind. >> i have always been intimidated by computers. afraid that i would break
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anything. i wanted to learn. i wanted to see if i could, you know? but i was not sure, because of my age. i have grandkids i did not get to see as often as i would like, but my son post pictures all the time. >> i thought it would be important to bring my mom and my sister to learn basic computer skills so that they are not isolated. even the medical community wants to send her notes and things via e-mail. so it is important for her to be able to learn how use the computer, at least for those simple things. >> we are part of the social media team. we will be teaching twitter, facebook, skype so the seniors in our community will not be isolated. >> there is no dumb question. we tried to make this an
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easygoing environment for everyone to learn here. >> they understand what you're talking about. i want to get on the internet and, like, if i need to, call the social security office or any other business. that i would know how to get in touch with them. >> people like us who are in wheelchairs in rehabilitation situations, in hospitals -- it opens the windows of the world to us. to be able to put your eyes anywhere in the world that you want to at a moment's notice. i paid acrylics. sometimes i search the internet or put images on the internet through cameras, through different pictures that i take of the subject matter. -- i paint acrylics. >> all my life, i did not use this, but i had to learn how to
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tight and everything, so i tied to find, and moved the mouse fine on my computer, so it was not a real problem -- i typed fine. everything is on the computer, and easy to find. it is like a road map. all these blogs, etc., and so on, because i have all this time. i concentrate on a few at a time. >> i never expected to have a computer. i am 96. as they say, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. and as you say, we do have this resistance to it. my daughter taught me how to play games.
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i am really hooked on that now to exercise my brain, and i started doing other things more quickly. i find that it really helps me. i can see pictures either that i have taken or that other people have taken if they are on a digital camera. i put them into my computer, and then i can crop the picture, enhance it. find out what safeway has on sale, and then michaels. they have their ads. i do use people who advertise, e-mail, so it is a very important part of my life. i love to e-mail, and i like to hear from people. i have trouble hearing from people on the phone, so if you send an e-mail and one in answer to a question, they can find it, or if they do not know the
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answer, they call you back again. it has been a big help with the family in many ways. now, i cannot be without my computer. i would be lost. >> it becomes second nature, and it becomes easier. it becomes a tool in your hand. >> it is so wonderful. memaw is on the computer. i would recommend coming here to learn the computer. it is not as hard as you think it is. >> do not be afraid. it really is kind of easy once you get the hang of it. >> go at your own face. do not get frustrated. >> do not be afraid of the computer. the only thing to be afraid of is that you will get addicted to it.
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[applause] >> you will see some of the stars are around. please thank them for being so brave and consider signing up to be one of them yourself. i wanted to invite dave up again to say how much we really appreciate him being part of today's program, helping shepherd it and share his own experiences. so thank you so much. >> thank you. thank you all. thank you. you are very, very kind. can i just be selfish and say that you inspired me? i am so happy. even if i do not see you again for regularly, i am taking pictures of your faces and thinking of all the successes you will make technologically, even when i do not see you, so feel good about it. do not be afraid of it. tackle it. it is yours, and
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congratulations. thank you for being a wonderful, wonderful audience. thank you. [applause] 0, and happy birthday.
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>> on december 28, 1912, san francisco mayor stared into a sea of